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The Cake Maker
2014, 74m, crime, film-noir, romance
The Cake Maker is a gangster-thriller centred around one woman, Roxy, and the men in her life. Matt bakes for his Boss, nightclub owner Frank, and occasionally works as a lookout on the street. Roxy does a runner after a “business disagreement”.
The Boss wants her found and sends Rick, his right hand man, to do the searching with henchmen Aristotle and Max in tow. None of the lookouts have seen her, it’s as if she’s vanished. Everyone’s looking for Roxy whilst Matt keeps his head down and Roxy hidden in his flat.
Produced by: Paulette Caletti, Trevor Kelly
Cast: Stuart Mackie, Nicole Smith, Matt Houlihan, James Hyland, Aston Maddix
10 questions with The Cake Maker director, Paulette Caletti at the half-way mark.
Friday, April 29th, 2016
1Hi Paulette! Thanks for being a part of our spring festival. First, what was the initial seed that made you want to make The Cake Maker? Thank you for having us. Making a feature film was always my dream and around that time the technology became cheaper. Whilst attending Cannes Short Film Corner in 2009, I met so many inspiring filmmakers that when I returned home I started writing a feature script based on my resources. A couple in love was the easiest character conflict and from there I added layers to make it more entertaining. I like working within genre and adding a twist.
2You wrote this film as well as directed it, how long did this script take you to write and what's your writing process like? I wrote this script under pressure with a definite deadline. I started writing in May 2009, discovered I was pregnant a week before getting married then my brother unexpected passed away. During my all-is-lost moment in November, a friend advised me to continue with the script and make the film. I completed the script in January and started shooting 2 weeks later when I was 7 months pregnant. It was a now or never moment and everything came together.
3This is your first feature film, how did you know you were ready to make a feature and what were you most worried about? I always felt I was structuring my short films like features by packing too much story into 10 minutes. To get my head around the challenge, I saw The Cake Maker as an experiment. I didn't know how we'd complete the film but we'd see how far we could get on a small budget. It was crazy but productive. My main concern was that the story made sense.
4Your leads, Stuart Mackie and Nicole Smith, both do a wonderful job. How did you meet those two and what was it about them that made you want to put them in your movie? I met Stuart at university and we kept randomly bumping into each other over the years. One time he invited me to his short film screening and I then decided to write a part for him. I met Nicole when we lived in the same apartment complex in Brixton. She was the star of SHANTELL TOWN and became one of my best friends. Nicole's a great babysitter too. I knew they'd both commit to the film, be generous with their ideas and create a good atmosphere on set.
5What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? That's tricky. I've always liked emotional films that made me cry. Telling stories that help people was my initial reason, either through laughter or inspiration. DIRTY DANCING was the first film I watched multiple times and it's still magical.
6Images of Black Women Film Festival is one of your Executive Producers. How did you get involved with them and can you tell me a little bit about them? My short film, SHANTELL TOWN, won a IBW Film Festival award in 2007 and I received £1500 price money towards another short film with the festival as Executive Producers. Having also received funding to make a digital short with B3 Media, ENTER THE PREACHER, the £1500 was the starting point for The Cake Maker. IBW Film Festival showcased films starring and made by black women. Ava DuVernay's MIDDLE OF NOWHERE featured in 2013. http://tinyurl.com/hlw66jo
7There's a lot of backlash against films, festivals, and awards shows for the movie industry not giving enough roles and recognition for women and minority filmmakers and actors. What are your thoughts on this? I think it boils down to money. Festivals and awards make it easier for you to get your next film made. Without the money, women and minorities can't tell the stories that audiences need. I try not to focus on the barriers and appreciate what I've achieved. For me the value of The Cake Maker is more than awards. It represents freedom because I've over come the fear of making the first feature and I understand so much more about the industry.
8Can you share a war story from the shoot? The shoot went pretty smooth actually. Being pregnant meant I wouldn't allow anything to stress my baby and no one gave me a hard time. At the end of each day, we'd go through the following days schedule and cut loads of scenes because there wasn't enough time. Had to think quick and be confident there was still a story. Finding last minute crew was probably the most nerve wracking. Couldn't have done it without the DIT team.
9What's the indie film scene like in the UK? I think filmmakers are realising they have to take control of their careers and shoot on smaller budgets. It's a supportive community and there are many forums/groups to turn to for advice. We're lucky that the UK has national and regional agencies that support filmmakers with funding schemes, training and events.
10What's next? All my films seem to end with a couple disappearing into the sunset together and I've finally realised I'm a romantic. My next film is a love story and I'm looking forward to diving into a really emotional story. Also working on some 360 VR projects. Full of ideas, just need to knuckle down and get it done.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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